Altoona, Pimentel blank Aeros 2-0
Akron bats fall silent in series opener
ALTOONA, PA -- You could forgive the Akron Aeros for assuming that Sunday's four home run barrage was a sign that their offense was heating up and about to take off. There is no way that their huge effort would be followed by a complete shutdown, right?
Sometimes baseball just makes no sense.
The Aeros (10-14) lost 2-0 Monday to the Altoona Curve (11-13) in the first game of a four game series at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Curve starter Stolmy Pimentel (2-0, 2.74 FIP) held the Aeros down for seven innings, striking out five while lowering his ERA to a miniscule 0.30.
Getting people on base was not what sunk Akron, as the Aeros managed nine hits --all singles -- despite the shutout. Grounding into two double plays in the third and eighth innings, along with second baseman Jose Ramirez being caught stealing in the first, ultimately held the offense back.
The lack of offense wasted a strong start from right-hander Brett Brach (1-2, 3.12 ERA, 3.43 FIP), who went six innings with only two hits allowed and no walks. The right-hander struck out five while not allowing any earned runs, but allowed one unearned run after a Ramirez throwing error in the first inning.
Hard-throwing right-hander Austin Adams relieved Brach, throwing the final two innings and allowing one run on a solo home run to right fielder Alex Dickerson. Adams, who is still working his way back from shoulder surgery last May, did manage to strike out four while only allowing one walk in addition to the home run.
Akron did threaten down 2-0 in the eighth inning, loading the bases with one out for Eastern League RBI leader first baseman Jesus Aguilar. Aguilar grounded into a 1-2-3 double play, however, short-circuiting the threat.
Ramirez ended the day with an impressive line, going 3-for-3 with a walk and his 12th stolen base of the year. His day was tarnished, though, with his fifth error and his third time being caught stealing.
Shortstop Ronny Rodriguez chipped in with a 2-for-4 day, raising his batting average to .256. Of course, a walk every now and again would make his .261 on-base percentage a little more bearable.
Attendance: 2,017... Time of Game: 2:12... Game time temperature: 52 degrees... Before the game, designated hitter Chun-Hsiu Chen was named the Eastern League's player of the week... The Aeros were active on the transaction front earlier in the day, with pitchers Toru Murata and Kyle Landis heading to Columbus... One of the players taking their place is Rayl, who was activated from extended spring training where he was on the disabled list... The other new additions to the roster -- pitcher Jordan Cooper and catcher Jake Lowery -- were called up from High-A Carolina.
If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org